Pest Perspectives - July/August 2016 - (Page 22)

operational excellence COPING WITH BEING SHORT-HANDED BY PLANNING AHEAD By Bill Hurd, Environmental Pest Service I t never fails: Your business is running smoothly and everything is going as planned, but then one of your best employees decides to move across the country, and another employee has to have emergency surgery that takes him out of service for the next few months. In the blink of an eye, you went from being fully staffed to being short-staffed. Fortunately, with the right preparation, you can ensure that your business will continue to provide the high level of customer service you need to remain successful. With that in mind, here are three steps to ensure you are prepared the next time you find your business short-staffed. Cross-training. Most pest control 1 companies offer a variety of services - but not all companies train their employees in all of these services. If one employee is running a pest control route, and another is running a lawn route, each employee should be able to switch routes and still perform the services flawlessly. This will allow a manager to shift employees around when a short-staffing situation occurs. In addition to employees being cross-trained, managers also need to be able to perform all services - and they need to stay up-to-date on those services in the 22 July | August 2016 event they are required to help out in the field during a busy time. Seeing a manager work alongside other employees during difficult times is a huge morale booster and a key to a successful business. your employees and your 2 Know routes. When managers know their personnel and the various routes they service, they can better adjust during difficult times. For example, if there is a route that is already inefficient because of the drive time required to complete it, this is not the route to expand if you are trying to make up for absent employees. And if you have one employee that regularly works ahead, finishing his route early, he may be able to pick up part of another route for a short time, without impacting customer service. Have long- and short-term plans 3 in place, and make sure your managers know how to institute these plans. Our managers are constantly being trained on how to handle numerous difficult situations - one of which is being short-staffed. Ask yourself some key questions ahead of time. How you will handle routes that aren't covered? How long can you manage without filling a vacancy permanently? Which employees can step up and handle more work for a short time? Take the answers to all these questions and develop your short-term and long-term plans, and then share this information with all your employees. Finally, through it all, communicate with your employees the status of the situation and how it is being handled long term. The staffing situation you are facing will not last forever, so let your employees know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And thank them for pitching in to help things run smoothly. You can never communicate your appreciation to your employees enough. Businesses that are short-staffed sometimes struggle to provide quality service, resulting in the loss of customers. But with the proper planning, and implementation of that plan, your pest control business can remain successful during any difficult staffing situation. Bill Hurd can be reached at 941.377.0888 or Environmental Pest Service is the parent company of Arrow Environmental Services, Bug Out Service, Skyline Pest Solutions and State Pest Control, offering a variety of pest control, termite control, lawn care and wildlife removal/exclusion services throughout Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pest Perspectives - July/August 2016

Presidential Perspective FPMA: Productive Spring, Prosperous Summer
The Future of Controlling Bed Bugs
How Business Owners Can Prepare for the New Overtime Pay Rule
Capitol Concerns PAC Fundraiser and Fumigation Update
Operational Excellence Coping with Being Short-Handed by Planning Ahead
3 Linking Strategies That Google Wants to See on Your Website
FPMA Leadership FPMA Leadership Resumes in Fall, Accepting Applications for Next Class
Marketing Matters The Power of Emotional Marketing
FPMA Corner
Advertiser Index

Pest Perspectives - July/August 2016